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Petrol price crisis: Soaring price of fuel threatens Birmingham haulage industry

Brummie truckers have been left fearful for their jobs after a record hike in the price of petrol. Drivers have been hit by the biggest monthly rise at the pumps in 18 years, according to the RAC. Unleaded shot up from 123.43p to 129.41p a litre on average, taking the cost of filling up a 55-litre family car to GBP71.18 – an increase of GBP3.29.

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Diesel prices have been rising across the UK in recent weeks.

Diesel endured a slightly greater monthly increase of 6.12p – from 126.27p to 132.39p – the second worst rise since the start of 2000.

The rise made the cost of a tank of diesel for a family car GBP3.37 more expensive at GBP72.81, according to RAC Fuel Watch data for May. The average prices of both petrol and diesel were also found to have gone up every day since April 22, adding 8p a litre in the process – the longest sustained price increase since March 2015.

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Cross Transport, a family-run road haulage firm in Tyseley, Birmingham, is among the companies bearing the brunt of the soaring prices. Transport operations manager Karl Starkey said: “The rate of diesel has gone up quite a considerable amount in the past six or seven weeks.

It does affect us, because you don’t want people to lose their jobs or to pass on a fuel surcharge to the customer. But when you have a fleet of 90 vehicles operating every week of the year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the cost of diesel can amount to between GBP80,000 and GBP90,000 a week. Even a small rise in the price per litre can make a huge difference overall.

The Government needs to do something or eventually haulage firms will go out of business and there will be a knock-on effect because the industry delivers goods all over the country, including for the supermarkets and online retailers. “The price needs to be capped or people are going to be put out of work.”

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In the West Midlands the average price of unleaded was 128.80 and diesel 131.53, according to the RAC. Fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “May was a hellish month for motorists.

“Sadly, they have been besieged by pump price rises for three months with nearly 9p a litre being added to petrol since the beginning of March. “The rising oil price together with a weaker pound is a punitive combination for anyone that drives regularly. For many people there is little alternative to the car for the majority of journeys they have to make so it is therefore very difficult to avoid feeling the pinch of rising pump prices.

Petrol price crisis: Soaring price of fuel threatens Birmingham haulage industrySteep rise: Graph shows hikes at the pumps

“In the last week of May the oil price cooled a little to £76 a barrel which is slightly better news for motorists as the RAC’s two-week forecast is currently showing that average prices may even reduce by a penny or so.

While this isn’t much, and could easily change in response to oil trading this week, it is at least a sign that the constant rise in forecourt prices may have stopped for the time being.” Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, urged motorists to shop around. She said: “Petrol prices have reportedly increased every single day since April 22 and our data shows that they have increased 1.1p in the past week alone to an eye-watering 128.7p per litre.

“And with the average medium-sized car (57L) now costing GBP73 to fill up, drivers are really feeling the pinch.

Motorists will need to budget even more to fill up their tanks, especially if they are planning any long-distance road trips this summer.

“To soothe the sting of sky-high petrol and diesel costs it’s more important than ever that drivers shop around to find the most affordable fuel.”



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